Black-breasted Buzzards

The Black-breasted Buzzards (Hamirostra melanosternon) – also known as Black-breasted Kite – is a large bird of prey.


It has a wingspan that ranges between 440 and 500 millimeters, with females being larger than males.

The adult plumage is mostly dark with distinctive white patches on the wings at the bases of the primary feathers.pic genus Hamirostra.


The Black-breasted Buzzard occurs naturally in Australia, where it is mostly found in the northern and central parts of the continent. They inhabit deserts, dry grasslands, shrublands, sparse tropical woodlands, and tree-lined watercourses. It is not found in Tasmania.

Diet / Feeding

Black-breasted buzzards feed on rabbits, large lizards, other birds, and carrion. It will also raid the nests of ground-nesting birds, breaking large eggs by hurling stones against them with its large beak and then eating the contents. (see photo below).


They nest in trees, often along watercourses, building a platform of sticks with a central leaf-lined depression for the clutch of usually two eggs.

The incubation period is about 40 days. The young fledge when they are about 60 days old.

Black-breasted kite using stone as a tool to open up EMU egg
Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon), or Black-breasted Kite
Immature Black-breasted Buzzard
Black-breasted Buzzard
Black-breasted Buzzards - Pair
Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon), or Black-breasted Kite
Black Breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon)
Photo of author

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

We love to hear from our readers. If you have any questions or if you want to get in touch with us, you can find our contact details on our About Us page.

Leave a Comment